Five things you might had not known about FTL: Faster Than Light

If you read our previous Survival guide for FTL: Faster Than Light then you most likely have a very good idea of what the game is about. There might be certain things that you were never aware of, or that always evaded you secretly. The aim of this guide is to bring to light some of these things, so that your future battles (and planning) will go that much better. Although a relatively short mini-guide the value of this information will most certainly be worth your time! Or at least, we can only hope. In case you need more details about a module, ship or rare check the FTL: Faster Than Light Wiki!

FTL: Faster Than Light

“It’s a good thing we installed auto-pilot on our ship… what do you mean we didn’t?”

1. Beams are not just straight lines

Beam weapons have a number of great uses. Firstly, they never miss. If you tell a beam to go from point A to B it will. Shields will stop it however, but certain powerful beams (such as the Glaive Beam) can punch through level 2 shields. Each beam has a slightly different use and strength, but they differ to explosives and lasers in one very important way, precision. For example, if you had a crew member in a hull section that was hit by a missile not only would the crew member be wounded but the hull and module would be damaged as well. Beams work on a similar principle. If a beam touches a room it will damage both the hull and module. HOWEVER it won’t wound the crew member UNLESS the beam passes through him/her/it. So, when planning to take out the enemy crew with, for example, an Anti-Bio Beam you must make sure it passes through the enemy crew (in a single go the beam can damage a crew member more than once when both the target and the beam travel in the same direction).

Another useful piece of knowledge regarding beams is how many rooms they can pass through, there is no limit, as such. For example, the Glaive Beam appears to be capable of passing through two-three rooms at a time. However, if you position it carefully it could pass through even four rooms (it might not wound any crew members though). A lot depends on the layout of the enemy ship, and the length of the beam at your disposal. You might find that your Glaive beam can do a total of 12 damage in a single shot, rather than just 6. Remember, it’s enough if a small bit of the beam touches the room, it does not have to go in deeply.

2. Ions come first

When you have Ion weapons at your disposal, among any other weapons, it is important to understand in what order you should fire. As you know Ion Weapons can disable shields for a limited duration (as well as any other system). If you keep firing your Ion weapons at a very high speed (or fire many of them) you can keep a shield “killed” until you cease firing. The problem is that you might not have enough weapons for that, or you are at an early stage of the game and as such cannot afford to do so. You want to use your weapons as best as you can, but sometimes you can make a simple mistake.

Let us say you faced an enemy ship with a level 3 shield. You decide to fire your double laser first and take down two of the three bars (no system damage). Then you throw in an Ion Bomb to disable the rest of the enemy shield. What will in fact happen? The Ion Bomb will “disable” the already disabled shields, leaving one shield bar still functional. If you first fired an Ion bomb to take out two enemy shields the dual laser could punch through the last layer and do some actual damage. This is because Ion weapons disable SYSTEMS. Damage to the shield only weakens it, and does not effect the system. If you fail at firing your Ion weapons first you might have to wait a long time for your other weapons to recharge. Take into account the SPEED certain attacks move at. If you fired a Missile, Laser and Beam weapon at the same time the Beam would hit first with the Laser and Missiles following behind. Fire the Beams the moment the enemy shields are weakened/down. Ion weapons (except for Ion bombs) appear to be the slowest weapons. Take that into account when firing a salvo.

3. Know your Super Weapons

In the FTL: Faster Than Light universe there are a number of “Super Weapons” which will make any battle much easier. The problem is knowing when you actually have them, and knowing how to use them effectively. The problem with a lot of Super Weapons is their power consumption, and they alone will not win battles, most of the time. Among these weapons are the Glaive and Anti-Bio Beam, weapons that are very expensive or very hard to find:

Glaive Beam – Very destructive Beam weapon, as long as the enemy shields are down.

Anti-Bio Beam – Kill people, leaving the ship intact (might not be that effective if the enemy medical bay is operational).

Breach Missile – High damage missile, that will almost certainly cause a Hull Breach.

Ion Blast Mark II – Rapid Fire Ion Weapon.

Burst Laser Mark III – Five-shot firing laser.

Breach Bomb II – Deadly and destructive Bomb, to both enemy systems and crew.

Ion Bomb – Super Ionizer, capable of disabling a system completely for a very long time. Highly useful against Weapon/Shield systems.

Although there are also ship specific weapons (and people might have their own opinions on what is a Super Weapon or not) the weapons mentioned above are either the deadliest or the most useful. At the same time most of them will consume a lot of power and have long recharge times.


About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
Other posts by

Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

Leave a Reply